SAF team supporting anti-ISIS fight will have 50-60 personnel

SAF team supporting anti-ISIS fight will have 50-60 personnel

SINGAPORE - The Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) will be sending about 50 to 60 personnel to support the multinational coalition combating the terrorist threat from the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), said Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen yesterday.

"Our planning officers and liaison officers have gone to (the United States) Central Command, to be able to get a sense of what the mission requirements are," Dr Ng told the media on the sidelines of the launch of the SAF's airborne training facility.

When asked if a date for deployment had been set, Dr Ng said the SAF was going to time its involvement with coalition efforts - and no specific date was available yet.

"As you know with the situation (over there), the weather makes a difference, even certain activities calm down when the weather turns," he said.

"We are going to synchronise with when our help is most needed," he added.

Many areas of Syria and Iraq are likely to see temperatures plunge below zero deg C in the mountains during winter.

Singapore is joining the United States-led coalition of more than 30 countries to fight the militant ISIS, which has in recent months conducted violent campaigns in Iraq and Syria.

Dr Ng had said in Parliament last month that Singapore's contribution will include tanker aircraft for air-to-air refuelling, and an imagery analysis team, which will operate from surrounding countries with other coalition forces.

All were previously deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan. No combat troops will be deployed.

Yesterday, Dr Ng said Singapore's involvement has been much appreciated.

"They know that as we did in Afghanistan, we contributed very positively... so our coalition partners have welcomed our involvement," he said.

This article was first published on Dec 02, 2014.
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